Abstract

Abstract:

This paper provides a philosophical analysis of self-knowledge or insight in psychotherapy. Our aim is to make sense of the idea—central to therapeutic practice—that insight can have a healing effect. Specifically, we focus on the following question: How should a person relate to his or her own (maladaptive) mental states, such that the resulting self-knowledge constitutes therapeutic self-knowledge, that is, self-knowledge that facilitates therapeutic change? We propose a ‘dual perspective’ account of such therapeutic self-knowledge. According to this account, genuine insight into one’s (dysfunctional) beliefs, desires, or emotions requires that one avows these states from a first-person or point of view, while at the same time regulating this avowal from a more adaptive, second-person perspective on oneself that mirrors the therapeutic relation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3303
Print ISSN
1071-6076
Pages
pp. 45-58
Launched on MUSE
2018-03-03
Open Access
No
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